Early course in obstetrics increases likelihood of practice including obstetrics

Jen Pearson, Ruth E Westra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Duluth has offered the Obstetrical Longitudinal Course (OBLC) as an elective for first-year medical students since 1999. The objective of the OBLC Impact Survey was to assess the effectiveness of the course over the past 15 years. METHODS: A Qualtrics survey was emailed to participants enrolled in the course from 1999-2014. Data was compiled for the respondent group as a whole as well as four cohorts based on current level of training/practice. Cross-tabulations with Fisher’s exact test were applied and odds ratios calculated for factors affecting likelihood of eventual practice including obstetrics. RESULTS: Participation in the OBLC was successful in increasing exposure, awareness, and comfort in caring for obstetrical patients and feeling more prepared for the OB-GYN Clerkship. A total of 50.5% of course participants felt the OBLC influenced their choice of specialty. For participants who are currently physicians, 51% are practicing family medicine with obstetrics or OB-GYN. Of the cohort of family physicians, 65.2% made the decision whether to include obstetrics in practice during medical school. Odds ratios show the likelihood of practicing obstetrics is higher when participants have completed the OBLC and also are practicing in a rural community. CONCLUSIONS: Early exposure to obstetrics, as provided by the OBLC, appears to increase the likelihood of including obstetrics in practice, especially if eventual practice is in a rural community. This course may be a tool to help create a pipeline for future rural family physicians providing obstetrical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-724
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2016

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